Blogmas Day 4: Have Yourself a Nostalgic Little Christmas

Blogmas - 2019

I mentioned in one of my recent posts that I tend to associate the late 40’s – 50’s with Christmas for some reason. Now, this era does tend to be romanticized quite a lot in pop culture and many of the tumultuous events that were happening are glossed over. Post war America though seemed like a more peaceful time, a more harmonious time in American history. The country was rebuilding itself, families separated by war were reuniting or finding ways to move on and society was united by common goals. Christmas was a much bigger deal it seems because most people, probably worldwide, didn’t have the means to be consuming all year. Shopping was a treat, more of an experience whereas now, Americans shop constantly (to the tune of $13.86 trillion in credit card debt) and goods are widely available. I’d love to see Christmas become a simpler celebration rather than the blow-out, consumerist extravaganza it has always been during my lifetime. Obviously, it wasn’t a progressive era but here’s why they did the holidays better.

Amilya Regular

Department stores used to be beautiful, not the tiled, fluorescent monstrosities or nearly vacant malls that exist now. You could have your purchases wrapped by someone who took pride in their vocation. Now, I schlep into a store, get ignored by the associates, check myself out, whip all my shit into a bag and leave. Consumers want more stuff for less and the whole experience has been cheapened to meet this demand. Also, stores actually closed – what a concept.

Amilya Regular

Now, I think that the artificial tree came out during this era which is good and bad I suppose. You can reuse them for a long time, they can be more accessible to families who can’t afford the whole natural tree thing but it sucks when you have to throw one out. Shiny BriteΒ started producing affordable ornaments (still do to this day), outdoor decor became more prevalent, those inflatable lawn ornaments weren’t a thing. I love looking at Christmas lights but I often wonder if people just hate their neighbors. The White House had one classy tree instead of a dozen, what is that about anyway?

Amilya Regular

I recently watched a documentary on NORAD and the story of how they got started tracking Santa is delightful. It was actually a typo that lead to children calling the military on Christmas Eve in 1955 and rather than turning it into a national security issue, it was handled with good humor and operators were directed to give the kids an ETA on Santa. The following year, NORAD officially started tracking Santa’s Christmas Eve journey.

Amilya Regular

Nothing against mall Santa, the one at MOA is actually pretty good but department store Santa is definitely the more classy of the two.

Overall, it’s just the quaintness of the era and doing so much with so little that appeals to me. Was it all good? Probably not, I mean, the food couldn’t have been great, I feel like the candied ham, green bean casserole and fruitcake were products of this era.Β Miracle on 34th Street is the saddest movie I’ve probably ever seen.Β If Mad Men is accurate, everyone was smoking themselves to death and having extra marital affairs. But overall, if I could go back to a simpler time while maintaining the progressive values of a 2019 society, I absolutely would. What about you, what vintage concepts would you like to see as part of the modern Christmas celebration?

πŸ’™

Blogmas Day 1: Winter Favorites

Blogmas - 2019

It’s snowing & blowing here in Minnesota, which is my favorite kind of winter day if I didn’t have to be to work in a couple of hours. It seems like the perfect day to kick off Blogmas, I’m only doing 24 days of posts as I am leaving on a snowboarding trip for the last two weeks of the year and I don’t think I would have time to blog. Anyway, today’s post is a handful of products that I’ve been enjoying lately.

Happy Wax Scented Soy Melts: I found these on Amazon and they have quite a few flavors. I’ve been melting the Spa Blend which is a medley of lavender, eucalyptus and cotton. It’s a clean scent, the melts are shaped like cute bears and the throw is decent. I melt way more than the recommended 1-2 pieces but I like my home scents potent and I’m sure 1-2 pieces would be just fine.

tgin Miracle Repair Leave in Conditioner: Winter arrived overnight along with dry hair, dry skin, chapped lips and all of those seasonal discomforts. My hair dresser recommended switching to a leave in conditioner for the winter and this one is really nice. It has a light, fresh scent and does a great job at keeping my hair healthy and soft. It also hasn’t broken my face or neck out which is an issue I experience with moisturizing hair products. This was around $10 at ULTA and it’s been worth every penny.

Acure Marula Oil: I think I’ve talked about how much I enjoy the Drunk Elephant marula oil before but at $80/ounce, I’m always on the hunt for a more affordable product. This one isn’t bad, it’s a bit lighter consistency than the DE version but still deeply moisturizing and repairing. This was another ULTA find and cost around $12, I also like this component more since it’s a pump and not a dropper. I think it’s a fantastic alternative to the DE oil.

Frank Body Peppermint Coffee Scrub: I’m not one to futz around in the bath or shower with body treatments but if you have dry, flaky skin and want a physical exfoliator that isn’t terribly abrasive, coffee is pretty awesome. Yeah, it’s a complete mess but it does the trick and this one smells amazing.

LUSH Cosmetics Karma Kream: Still my favorite body lotion, it smells heavenly with notes of sandalwood and citrus and the scent stays with you all day. It’s by far the best of all the body lotions.

Mamonde Lip Sleeping Mask: If you want a lip mask that falls somewhere between Vaseline and a lip balm, this is it. It’s just enough to feel like a mask but not suffocating, Mamonde makes great skincare with simple ingredients and this is a winter lip savior.

Let me know what some of your winter must-have products are and if you are participating in Blogmas this year! Do you have any Christmas decorations up? Has it snowed where you are? I hope you enjoy these festive posts and I’m looking forward to reading yours!

πŸ’™

Halloween Decor (So Far…)

Blogoween

Happy Sunday! We had a beautiful, crisp autumn day here in the Twin Cities. That being said, I didn’t get very far into The Chilling Adventures of Sabrina and I will post about the entire series next weekend in place of the Into the Dark Series that I just can’t be bothered with. In the meantime, here’s a peek at my Halloween decor. I say so far because I have a coupon for JoAnn Fabrics that starts tomorrow and I’m probably picking up a few more things. I told myself last year that I couldn’t purchase anything new this year because I simply don’t have storage room for it but I did quite poorly sticking to that.

IMG_20191006_160308

IMG_20191006_160320.jpg

IMG_20191006_160330.jpg

IMG_20191006_160353IMG_20191006_160411

IMG_20191006_160359

IMG_20191006_160422

IMG_20191006_160447

These vintage remakes are my favorite, the selection this year was really good and I found some pieces that complemented my collection perfectly. I painted the whiskers on this cat candy dish from Michael’s because without them, it looked like some creepy Americana art. I’m a sucker for the grinning cat pieces! The giant witches hat is a bit of a regret, it sheds glitter everywhere and I don’t know what I’m going to store it in. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed a peek at my decor!

πŸ–€

Target Dollar Spot Fall Finds

Blogoween, Life

Ah, the Target Dollar Spot, it’s definitely a love/hate thing for me. It’s a collection of things one absolutely does not need at prices that definitely don’t scream quality and yet, I always find something to purchase once the fall decor hits the shelves. I was all around impressed with the selection this time, everything was picked over last year by mid-September. I picked up a few things that I knew I could use for numerous occasions.

They had a couple different styles and shades of gourds this year. I think these little pieces are well worth a buck and can be used after Halloween for fall decor.

It seems that they always have fabric pumpkins, this year they had these little sequin beauties. The wire, spider web bowl was $3 and perfect for spooky centerpiece.

Lastly, I chose two of these black cat, wooden ornaments. They were $1 each and matched the black/gold theme I had inadvertently going.

It’s funny how quick you can run through $20 on this stuff πŸ˜‚ Is your Target stocked for Halloween? I feel as though retailers stock seasonal items so early nowadays that it’s all picked over too soon! Let me know what goodies you’re on the hunt for.

πŸ–€

Best of May

Monthly Favorites

I can’t believe it’s June, spring sprung seemingly overnight after weeks of cool, rainy weather. I love the rainy weather but it’s nice to see the sun shining and we’re well on our way to Halloween πŸ‘» My deck is almost summer ready, I spent too much time and money in IKEA last weekend. I had this fantastic idea to change my master bathroom from beige to white because I love hotel bathrooms. Clean ones, that is with white towels and that subtle bleach scent. What I didn’t realize is that they get cleaned everyday, I’m pretty clean but it’s misery so far πŸ˜‚ I’ll post about my deck decor sooner than later. Anyway, here are some items that I was loving in May.

For the last year I’ve been trying to switch to natural deodorant, most of them have given me a rash. I picked this up recently and love it so far. It has a light, floral scent – not too rosy but just pleasant enough. The consistency is on the wet side but very moisturizing and dries down to nothing. It’s made my armpits so soft and cleared up the rash in no time. It’s on the expensive side but all of these natural deodorants are.

My skin tends to get congested as soon as the weather starts to heat up, this is a seasonal favorite since it dries my skin out too much during the winter. It’s a mild acid that keeps my back and chest clear. It smells funky like fermented fruit but it works and it’s pretty affordable.

This is one of those blue light therapy devices. It’s supposed to help kill bacteria and I could be nuts but I think it’s working. I had to stop taking oral contraceptive due to starting another medication so I’m getting some hormonal spots but I swear this is knocking them out. My skin is almost back to where it was before my change in meds. I use it for about 15 minutes each night, focusing on different quadrants. I like it because I’m not adding another chemical to my routine. I purchased this from my dermatologist but Amazon sells the exact same one.

Nature’s Bounty recently released a line of skin vitamins, I picked up this one and the moisture one. I really think that my overall skin feels firmer and smoother. I’m also trying the moisture one but can’t say that my skin feels any less dry than usual.

One day, whilst feeling sorry for myself, I ordered a bunch of Charlotte Tilbury because no brand makes me feel prettier 😝 These are the daily go-tos so far. The Peachgasm is this glowy, liquid blush that’s perfect for making pasty skin look flushed and glowy. The cream shadows in Rose Gold and Star Gold are easy to smudge on and go. Her entire summer collection is stunning.

And because I’m a total blush whore, this peachy Burt’s Bees blush has been my ‘bronzer’ of late. I like a bronzer that’s on the redder side because it looks more natural for me to be a bit burnt than actually tanned πŸ˜‚ I love this formula, not terribly pigmented but easy to build and blend.

I cannot get enough true crime as of late! Yes, I purchased some books but I’m on the hunt for an e-reader. I’m also hooked on the My Favorite Murder podcast and Buzzeed Unsolved: True Crime series on YouTube. I thought the Netflix Ted Bundy movie was pleasantly tame while still being super creepy. Finally, I cannot wait for Stranger Things season three and recently binged the first two seasons. What have you been loving recently?

These goslings were also a fave this month, look at how fat they are! There are spring babies all over the place, it’s lovely. Let me know what you’ve been up to!

πŸ–€

Ready to Spring Fling

Random

Words that I never thought would come out of my mouth, winter is my favorite season but this one has been too much. With the extreme cold, dangerous driving conditions and just all around gloomy atmosphere, I am ready for some milder weather even if that means spring. I hate spring; pastels, allergies, that manure smell that permeates farm country when everything starts melting, the dirty brown snow, the completely asinine amount of litter before the road crews get out, never quite knowing what to wear. I hate it but I am actually kinda’ looking forward to it as well. I even got myself a spring’ish manicure this weekend. I am still loving the dip powder, it lasts longer and my nails looks really nice.

IMG_20190216_112721

Feeling further inspired to get into spring, I put out the few Easter decorations that I own. I’ve never been a huge fan of Easter and spring decor, probably the aversion to pastels thing but this pig with bunny ears is the cutest thing.

IMG_20190218_091931

I also started melting lilac and gardenia waxes, my apartment smells like a delightful garden. I think that the kitties are also ready to have the windows open again so they can keep an eye on the birds. They are not amused.

IMG_20190209_131116

I can’t wait to go to the farmers’ market, go for a bike ride, sit on the deck and read – spring will be welcome indeed. But that reminds me that I should probably get my allergy meds filled πŸ˜› Are you ready for spring, has the winter been awful where you are? We aren’t even through March yet, I fully anticipate a giant snow storm before we’re in the clear!

QuiteSimplyStella(1)

Minimalism to Mend a Broken Heart

Minimalism

Whenever I hear that someone in my life has made a lifestyle change, I always want to know the why behind it because I’m nosy and it fascinates me to know what some thing sparked an individual to change how they’ve been living their entire life. It can be someone’s health, doctor’s orders, they read an article, their kids – for me, I got dumped. A few months before my relationship ended, I had started to become more curious about minimalism and had jumped on the Anti-Haul bandwagon quite some time ago but I didn’t think that I would be making a lifestyle change any time soon. The reason being single turned out to be the catalyst for downsizing is that all of the stuff I owned was associated with someone who was no longer in my life and made me sad to think about. It was hard to come home to an apartment that no longer felt like a home and was saturated with memories. When I found myself on my own is when I really started to research and explore living a more minimal lifestyle.

I started with easy items like physical media, clothing that I wasn’t wearing, kitchen items that I never used and it felt like I was shedding my past and the newfound heart ache that I was associating with it. I didn’t find it very difficult to part with my things, growing up not having much of anything could be part of the reason but I also relished in the thought that my things could be used again by someone else who might not have very much. Reducing the amount of unnecessary things that I had in my space gave me a lot of clarity and my apartment had a fresh newness to it that I hadn’t felt since having moved in. The space was completely mine and I could fill it with only things that I curated but the thing is, I had no desire to fill my space back up with random items. Once I wasn’t surrounded by knick-knacks, throw pillows, stacks of media and all of the other items that were supposed to make my apartment a home, I felt a lot less distracted. The apartment isn’t totally stark, I still do have some decorations and enough to make it feel cozy but the atmosphere is completely different and I love it.

Am I totally committed to a minimalist lifestyle? Yes and no, I feel like I am totally committed to my interpretation of a minimalist lifestyle. I am choosing to surround myself with less collections of things and instead a collection of a few things that I have carefully curated that make me happy. I’ve felt for a long time that there is so much emptiness in consumerism, going from a childhood of have-nots to a comfortable existence as an adult has allowed me to own a lot more stuff that I value less. I have become much choosier when it comes to purchasing things, I’ve gotten better about investing in fewer well-made pieces over tons of average quality pieces. I enjoy living with less because it gives me a peace of mind that consuming couldn’t.

I’ve been at it for about 9 months, the whole process has been very therapeutic and helped me to find a sense of self that has made being on my own not so bad. So that’s how I started my minimalist journey but you can just read that Marie Kondo book too πŸ™‚

QuiteSimplyStella(1)